#Article (Archive)

Observer editor seeks High Court bail again

May 24, 2013, 12:00 PM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

Alhagie Jobe, deputy editor-in-chief of the Daily Observer newspaper, through his lawyer has again filed a bail application at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul before Justice Emmanuel Nkea.

Observer editor Jobe was arraigned alongside one Mbye Bittaye, at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul.

Alhagie Jobe was arraigned on a five-count charge of making an act with seditious intention, seditious publication, and possession of seditious publication, giving false information to a public servant, and reckless and negligent behaviour, while Mbye Bittaye was arraigned on a single count of making preparations to do an act with seditious intention.

During yesterday’s hearing of the bail application, defence counsel E.Jah, informed the court that he had filed a motion dated 21 May 2013, for the court to admit the accused person to bail pending the determination of the trial.

Counsel Jah pointed out that the said motion was supported by a 24-paragraph, and they are relying on all the paragraphs.

The affidavit showed that the applicant has strong ties in the community, and has denied all the charges against him before the court, he said.

Counsel added that the applicant had reliable sureties who are Gambians, and are willing to deposit the title deeds of their landed property.

Meanwhile, the state had filed an affidavit in opposition on 23 May 2013, with a four-paragraph affidavit, counsel noted.

Counsel submitted that the affidavit in support had facts to counter the affidavit in opposition, further submitting that the affidavit in support had contained adequate facts showing that the applicant was not trying to flee, as contained in the affidavit in opposition.

He said he would like to submit for the court to take judicial notice that the affidavit in opposition failed to give adequate facts that the applicant was trying to flee, and the state counsel did not indicate as to how he knew that, and this alone was not sufficient to deny the applicant bail.

Counsel also submitted that it would be proper for the court to exercise its discretion, based on the facts before the court.

He urged the court to grant the applicant bail as he was a family man with children, and his continued detention would prejudice his employment.

In response, state counsel A.M. Yusuf informed the court that they had filed a four-paragraph affidavit, and are relying on all the paragraphs, particularly paragraph B and C.

State counsel Yusuf added that these paragraphs were not challenged, and he urged the court not to grant the applicant bail.

The case was then adjourned to 27 May2013, for ruling.